English Spinet library, featuring 8 different samples per note (4 releases per note) of an exquisite rare Spinet recorded using only the highest-grade channel strip to ensure superlative quality. There is barely another instrument to combine both zeitgeist and timelessness in the way a spinet does. Despite being around for centuries already, its sound is still relevant in many musical territories, while still being inextricably connected to the musical works of its time. The English Spinet II library features an instrument built by Benjamin Slade in London around 1705. Slade is a manufacturer synonymous with the history of the spinet, known for their unrivalled quality which produced spinets offering a sweet-sounding, majestic and brilliant tone.
Only one of Slade’s unparalleled spinets has survived, yet it remains in excellent condition in the collection of Andreas Beurmann and is fully playable despite its age. It is now available for the first time on English Spinet II, presented in its original Valotti tuning at 410 Hz (equal temperament) with presets at 440 Hz also available.
Like all spinets, the Slade is not touch-sensitive in the sense of a piano. However, even if the differences are minuscule, not any given note will sound exactly the same due to different resonances of body and strings.
Until now, many keyboards and samplers represented harpsichords by always triggering off the exact same digital sample, leaving a cold and sterile sounding impression. In order to improve upon previous recreations and to pay tribute to the liveliness and depth of this antique instrument, we captured 8 variations of each note.
The release sounds of the keys are also of major importance: What was originally side noise is now often overlooked and even simply left out in artifical simulations, resulting in a very abstract overall picture. Therefore, we recorded 4 release samples of each note.
Another peculiar feature of the Slade spinet relies in its broken octave in the lower region: The C#1 and D#1 keys consist of two parts, which expands the key range about two tones.
The sample library consists of more than 600 single samples.
To start right away, presets are available for all common sample formats including HAlion, Kontakt2 and higher, EXS24 and GigaStudio3.
To do justice to this truly remarkable spinet we utilised custom-made Wagner U47w tube microphones, Crane Song Flamingo preamps and Universal Audio 2192 digital converters. For maximum sound quality, we recorded in 192 khz/24 bits resolution, downsampled to 44.1 khz/24 bits.
In addition to the samples, the library contains essays from Professor Andreas E. Beurmann himself, explaining both the historical and musical background of the instrument.
What’s in the collection?
– 8 different samples of each note
– 4 different release sounds of each note
– Ready to play HAlion, Kontakt, EXS24 and GigaStudio3 presets
– Wav format (except GigaStudio version)
– No mastering applied
– Recorded in 192 khz/24 bits resolution and downsampled